YOUR advice wanted: When blogging becomes a boundary



When I started this blog, I felt so incredibly refreshed, and so free. I could say what I wanted, when I wanted , how I wanted. I could be mean, I could be nice and I could be just plain crazy. I didn’t care who was reading, I didn’t know where my hits were coming from. I was enjoying myself.

Then the blog began to get noticed. Through posts for other blogs which linked to mine, through Facebook friends who wondered where I’d disappeared to and googled me, through readers who (gladly) kept returning to read or view what I had spewed out, through people who had (presumably) read an article or something and decided to google me.

People I generally avoid learnt about my space online and began to keep tabs on me through my blog! Suddenly I started feeling bogged down. From blunt and open work, I sort of went into my own shell – posting a few pictures here and there, rarely sharing their location and the issues I REALLY wanted to blog about did not dare to make their way on to the www.

The incorrigible woman who could say ANYTHING online became a meek blogger out to please the masses. Someone who couldn’t write how she was feeling because of ‘who might read what’ and had to paint a picture on Photoshop instead to portray her feelings in a concealed manner. But all the while I was gaining new followers, better stats and more comments. Why complain?

So friends, is this what blogging is all about? What do you suggest – should I move to a new (perhaps anonymous) blog? Should I stick with this, and continue with what I’m doing? 

Or should I break free?

Advice appreciated!


45 thoughts on “YOUR advice wanted: When blogging becomes a boundary

  1. Hi there, just come across your blog, really interesting and provocative post. I’m a young writing intern making my way in the “industry” and started a wordpress blog-cum-eportfolio to help with that. I’m finding posting really great because it gives me a reason (however small) to get my own writing and my own ideas out there whilst I work all hours of the day writing for other people. I can understand how increased publicity and following means increased pressure but at the end of the day, it’s your blog! Say how you feel, speak your mind, and I doubt very much that your fans will decrease. Probably the opposite.

    I’ve stopped bothering to contemplate whether my hits from Facebook, Twitter etc are old school friends having a snoop at how contrived and self-important a blogger I am. Any press is good press to me now, because it all helps me on my way to becoming the writer I want to be.

    Hope to read more of you soon! Bridget

    • Hello Bridget! And thank you for your wonderful uplifting comment!

      I really appreciate what you are doing and with the kind of spirit you are pursuing it, I think you’ll go a long way!

      Take care!

  2. I started blogging for its anonymity. Like you, I want to share thoughts and feelings that I don’t want people I actually know reading. It sounds to me like you aren’t able to be true to yourself on your blog and it is no longer serving the purpose it was meant to. Start another blog (but don’t forget to tell me your new address hehe).

    • Hey Sabirah! JAzak Allah for the response! Your aim sounds similar to mine — as though I was blogging for a whole new world that had never seen me, didn’t know me.

      Perhaps the anonymous blog will happen. Let’s see.

  3. You have to sacrifice your privacy when you become famous. Not that you are a celebrity to hide from people, my immediate reaction is why the hell should you care about others when you are not hurting anyone specific? So, it is better to continue writing this way. Why should you go against your nature? Writing is a skill, an art and by expressing your feelings you are not only venting out what you have inside but, you are also sharing something with others. For some it may be nothing but, maybe for others they are pearls of wisdom. “No Man can give what he has not got.” (This is a Latin translation) So, be happy that you have something to give. The small streams from the mountains may think they have nothing to give to the ocean but, every single drop is what makes the ocean. So give freely and give generously. Like I have said, you are not hurting anyone, so don’t feel shy. A few people will always criticize you but they are only a few whereas, most people appreciate your work. If blogging makes you feel good, stick to it. Remember how much flak I got from people on my blog? I am not writing as much as I used to i.e., because of other issues and not due to stalking or criticism. I hope you’ll smile after reading this comment. 🙂

  4. Hello Mehmudah, I think it is always important to be true to yourself. If your blog has come to the notice of those that would seek to silence you or cause you problems, then perhaps you should consider starting a new blog. I know that in some societies more than others, and often more so for women than for men, to be outspoken can be a dangerous thing. As you said, you found blogging to be liberating. Become liberated once more and start a new blog. Be sure to let your trusted followers know where you are though. 🙂

  5. “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false and incur my own abhorrence.” Frederik Douglass
    I know what you are talking about and at some point in all our lives and in our relationships and work, we would be tested. Do we censor ourselves for fear of a misunderstanding or losing the popular vote or do we step out boldly and say the things which we are truly passionate about.
    Thank you for your honesty. Approval, acceptance, being affirmed is rather lovely and we all need to feel that we have a safe place to air our thoughts and open our hearts.
    Just let me assure you that I want to know YOU. Your deepest thoughts. Your passion. I think that was the strong Muslim woman that I was attracted to in the first place! 😀
    Take your time. This confusion and momentary lapse of confidence is part of the journey. I know you will know the best course of action to take. And those who are like-minded and has taken the time to know you will be there.
    You take care my dear. I’m here.

  6. Boundaries won’t keep other people out- they’ll only keep you in. I say you break free and blog your heart out. That would be liberating in its true sense. And you won’t have to keep tabs on them either or stay glued to your stats. I had started blogging anonymously for the very same reason that’s making you want to close up- but then thought- who am i really hiding from? The people with their many opinions or my real persona?

  7. I am no expert blogger, I started because I thought it would be fun. T e images are not from my professional collections but those that are sometimes more personal but mainly fun shots taken as a reminder of what a location or event ment to me..not deep and meaning full, not perfect – just fun. The words were added to provide some information. I gathered a readership and I hope some good cyber friends and started to follow blogs I would not have sought out, but just stumbled upon and liked. My blog content hasn’t changed much though I do note what gets better ‘likes’ and comments and perhaps sub-consciously lean to what seems to be a favoured trend. But being selfish I blog what I want not selfishly but in the hope that by doing so I reflect what is either important or of interest to me and a reflection of my life in the hope that some folk (though I cannot expect all) will like and enjoy and take what they wish from it. I avoid over ‘political’ or contraversial subjects and comment so as not to offend. I also recognise, much to my surprise, that the majority of my followers are from differnt climates, countries and customs, so try to express some of our local culture, history and daily life in the hope it adds flavour. But I blog for the fun of it and the friendship and not to fight a cause or to try to influence opinion. Be true to yourself.

  8. As an Arab American living in the US, I couldn’t let go of politics and being involved in them. I have to express my feelings no matter what they are, and of course in many cases that meant designing a controversial or maybe (offensive to some people- although not my intention) piece. I got threats in college as well as praise. When I started my blog it was just a way to help me get back into the arts and starting my business, I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I really love and enjoy the other blogs just as much. I even feel that a few bloggers around here are friends :). I had many opinions about what to post or not to post, and what would affect “business” or not. And after much thought I realized that I had to be myself, and if anyone is interested then they had to take the whole package. I have friends who post things that I strongly dislike, but it doesn’t bother me cause I know it’s not personal. At the end of the day, I say you have to follow your gut feeling, cause if your not happy with what you’re doing I don’t think anyone will be. Whatever you do, inshallah it will be just fine.

  9. I totally understand where you’re coming from and have felt the same way myself lately. It’s rather ironic that you would express this just as many others may be thinking it but haven’t as yet expressed it. I feel like you just gave them and me a voice about this issue. So thank you soooooo much. Maybe we all need to adopt the philosophy that “what others think of me is none of my business.” Be well and stay blessed.

  10. Please do not silence your voice for anyone without good reason. If you fear for the safety of your loved ones or yourself, then yes go anonymous. Otherwise, they can go fly a kite… I do feel you on the “people I would like to avoid” part. However, there is only so much privacy we can hope for with online interactions these days. While we might care, somewhere inside of us, what others think, the majority of them will be of little to no consequence.

  11. You seem to love blogging to vent. My question is simple. Does the venting add to your other life goals both professionally and personally. If not than change your blogging style and keep your vents for a personal diary-offline. If it does than keep doing what you are doing. Those who love what you write will keep following you. If you get irritating posts you have the option to delete their comments.

  12. I would say just be your self Mehmudah.
    BUT…..if the reaction to being yourself is in any way uncomfortable and difficult to live with, dangerous even, and you are not the kind that can ignore them, I think you should start another anonymous blog. The worry would never let you be yourself, and if that is the reason you started blogging in the first place, what is the point?

  13. A beautiful photo and thought provoking article. My own personal perception would be to always speak and write from your heart, follow your passion. And always do it for YOU, because it brings YOU pleasure and makes YOUR heart sing. If others like your work, then that’s the icing on the cake. Blessings from Lizzie Joy
    PS Many thanks for the follow, which is very much appreciated.

  14. Be yourself. Be for real. Express yourself without watering your thoughts down too much.

    I’ve done it. All the while trying to be honest without being brutal, I still managed to say things that cost me followers and “likes”.

    It didn’t kill me, though. My heart’s still pumping, my blood’s still flowing, my brain keeps working things out and my soul hasn’t been stolen. Eventually, the numbers I lost were replaced by others who seem, so far, to appreciate my directness.

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